Strickland entered the fight as a +450 underdog, but he proved himself as the stronger fighter against Adesanya throughout the five rounds. Towards the end of the opening round, Strickland’s applied pressure allowed him to time an excellent right hand to knock down the champion, following with power punches until the bells rang. Even though Adesanya frequently scored points with leg kicks and jabs in the subsequent rounds, they weren’t enough to cause any damage to the challenger. Strickland’s accurate power shots not only helped him chip away at his opponent, but they also gave him control of the fight and allowed him to leave the octagon with the belt around his waist.
Additionally, Alexander Volkov had the opportunity to demonstrate his superior skill set in the co-main event against Tai Tuivasa. Despite taking countless strong leg kicks during the match, Volkov was able to deliver powerful strikes. He secured the victory over Tuivasa at 4:37 of the second round via submission due to the rare Ezekiel choke.
Up until the last bell, Manel Kape and Felipe dos Santos left everything in the octagon. Throughout the contest, the two competitors traded precise power strikes with dos Santos hitting beautiful right hands and a spinning elbow and Kape dropping the challenger or throwing at him on the ground. Kape ultimately had more control over the fight, presenting him the victory by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) but both fighters winning a “Fight of the Night” bonus.
The first two fights of the main card ended in spectacular finishes, with Justin Tafa securing a victory over Austen Lane (1:22) and Tyson Pedro defeating Anton Turkalj (2:12). Both Tafa and Pedro won by TKO in the first round.